In February, we launched the Tricycle Community, an online global group of Buddhist practitioners and those interested in learning more about Buddhist teachings. We weren’t quite sure what to expect when we set out but were quickly surprised and pleased with the results: Over the past few months, nearly 10,000 people have signed on, kicking off a lively exchange that shows no signs of slowing down. People from around the world have participated in teachings, discussions, and, most recently, the Tricycle Book Club, among other activities, and are offering support to one another along the path.
Perhaps the rapid growth of the Tricycle Community shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It was clear enough when the first issue of Tricycle appeared, in 1991, that a diverse and inclusive approach made sense for thriving Buddhist convert communities in the West. The Tricycle readership tripled by the second issue and continued to grow over the years to number tens of thousands of readers from a broad spectrum of Buddhist schools.
Tricycle draws direct inspiration from the Tibetan Rimé movement of the late nineteenth century. Rimé, which in Tibetan means “impartial, unbiased,” was not intended to blur distinctions among schools but to recognize the importance of using a variety of approaches to benefit individual practitioners and communities with different needs. With the emergence of a global community of practitioners who share core values and goals, Tricycle is becoming more and more committed to the Rimé vision.
The Tricycle Comunity has emerged at a pivotal point in the magazine’s history. The driving force behind Tricycle’s early and ongoing success, founding editor Helen Tworkov, has stepped down from the Tricycle board after 18 years of service. We feted Helen in April with an evening of music and poetry, featuring composers Philip Glass and Nico Muhly, the singer and composer Natalie Merchant, and the seminal poet and performance artist John Giorno (while Merchant sang a poignant “Thank You,” Giorno didn’t disappoint with his ironic and irreverent “THANX 4 NOTHING,” which delighted us all, and appears in full here.) Along with Glass, Pema Chödrön hosted the evening, which was followed by a celebratory dinner.
It is fitting, then, that we should honor Helen’s nearly two decades of hard work and commitment by taking her original vision online, and giving our mission to disseminate dharma’s global reach and ever broader relevance. So to you, Helen, many, many thanks for your unwavering commitment and innovative spirit. We’ll miss you.
While we’re sad to see Helen go, we are at the same time happy to welcome Trish Deitch, Tricycle’s new executive editor, who comes to us from The New Yorker. Trish is an old pro, having worked in the publishing industry for over twenty years, writing for magazines as diverse as GQ, Entertainment Weekly, and the New York Times. Trish brings with her a fortuitous mix of the committed practitioner and seasoned journalist, and will no doubt make her presence felt in the next phase of Tricycle’s development, both in print and online. We—and you, our readers—have plenty to look forward to.
As Tricycle’s stewardship passes to the next generation, it occurs to me that we are not simply publishers providing a readership with a product: While we invite you to join us in print and online, we recognize that we are members of the community, too. So, as you read this issue, it is my hope that you’ll come to feel the same way if you haven’t already. As our board chair, Philip Glass, said to me not long ago, “There’s room in our tent for everyone.”
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